Thursday, November 13, 2014

When I Critique, You Critique, We Critique

 Image from Card Critique

I don't know about you, but my students don't break into song and or parades when I say it's time to critique. However I try to make it as fun as possible when talking about each others artwork. This is a time of potential anxiety for students (I know it was for me in college) so changing up the way I critique is crucial for their nerves. Here are two ways that have worked well for me.

Card Critique

This is something I learned from one of my favorite art education professors in college. Each student group (this could actually be done individually but I like for this to be a group activity for discussion purposes) has a set of cards with statements on it like, "I love this one the most", or "this one leaves me with questions" They place these cards around the room next to artwork. I label the backs of the cards numerically so I know which student said what about the work of art and then we discuss as a class why certain artworks got different cards. In middle school we steer away from talking negatively about other student's work but I think constructive criticism is OK as long as it is done in a nurturing environment. If you would like to use my critique cards click here. I just used clip art from Microsoft Word, but I think you could come up with an even better card system.

Partner Up Critique

I like doing this with my eighth graders. They tend to be the noisiest bunch but set them off working in pairs and they are on task. Weird, but I will take it. I tailor a worksheet critique for the specific project, making sure to ask what they liked most about their partner's work and what could be improved upon. It also lessens the stress when only one individual is looking at their work rather than the whole class. Here is the Partner Critique I used for the Danny Haas lesson.

Do you do critiques in your classroom? What types do you do?
Happy Friday Eve!

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